|"I'm not raising our kits in ShadowClan. Believe me, I've thought about that, and I know it's what you want, but...That's not what's right for us either."|
|— Dovewing to Tigerheart in Tigerheart's Shadow, page 12|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter one of Tigerheart's Shadow. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 1 (of 35)
- Page Numbers: 5-14
- Tigerheart is running between pines to meet Dovewing. He always grows anxious when he strays far away from ShadowClan after Darktail and his group interfered with ShadowClan, tempting younger clanmates to join and challenge Rowanstar for leadership. Darktail succeeded and took over the ShadowClan camp with all of ShadowClan's Clanmates abandoning Rowanstar. They all went to attack RiverClan for more territory, but all the Clans eventually joined together to push Darktail and his group. Tigerheart worries that he might attack again when he isn't in camp.
- He wants to meet up with Dovewing, but he is afraid she wouldn't meet up with him. As the sun starts to fade away, he admits he had gotten too used to seeing her every day. He, Rowanstar, and Tawnypelt stayed in ThunderClan while Darktail took over their camp. He lived with Dovewing and her campmates and felt the dwindling love become new again. When they were both sent on a mission to find Twigpaw, he believed they became closer than when they would meet at the Clan borders.
- After ShadowClan had regained their land from Darktail, the two agreed they would meet in the dappled glade on SkyClan's territory, a little beyond where ShadowClan and ThunderClan touched. He knows he is being disloyal to ShadowClan. He told Rowanstar he was only patrolling the border, instead of meeting with Dovewing. However, he needed to stay loyal to ShadowClan. The food's scarce and they have lost over half of their Clanmates during the attack, and what ShadowClan needed now was Rowanstar and Tigerheart's support. However, thinking of Dovewing lets him forget about ShadowClan's troubles for just a while.
- He imagines Dovewing sitting in the middle of the pines, waiting for him. He sees her sitting beyond the bracken and quickly sits beside her. Dovewing is relieved he came, but Tigerheart thought he heard worry from her mew. The two were quiet until Tigerheart asks if anyone had found out about their secret meet-ups. Dovewing denies nervously and Tigerheart asks what the problem was. He worries that Dovewing had stopped loving him, but she admits she is expecting his kits. Tigerheart asked if they were his, too shocked to realize. Dovewing hits his muzzle telling them they are his. He apologizes for asking if the kits were his, mentioning he is surprised. Tigerheart asks if Dovewing had told her sister, Ivypool. Dovewing says she and Ivypool grew distant and suspects that she and Tigerheart were still meeting with each other. Tigerheart grew weary that if Ivypool told anyone about their meet-ups, it would ruin ShadowClan and destroy the little unity since Darktail's rogues left.
- Dovewing asks if this makes things difficult. Tigerheart denies but tells her it is bad timing. Warriors have lost respect for their leader and they look up to Tigerheart. Dovewing asks him if he would like to become leader in place of Rowanstar. He explains that ShadowClan is too weak and they need a leader soon. His mate inhales sharply, asking if it that leader is him; Tigerheart stares at the grass, admitting that he isn't sure himself. He tells her he's been trying to support Rowanstar, but his efforts may prove to be useless. Dovewing reminds him of them together, and the sleek-furred deputy knows it has to stay, for he's struggled without her. He tells his mate that he loves her, and always will, so they can figure it out side-by-side.
- He raises his head, clearing his thoughts, which flooded him with responsibility over his Clanmates, and gazes at Dovewing. Tigerheart can see her flanks swelling, and imagines her kits growing inside; their kits. The thought causes a purr to rise in his throat, and he weaves around her, his purr throbbing through his body. The broad-shoulder tom calls their kits brave and beautiful, for they will grow into fine warriors. As he speaks, hope flashes inside his chest. Tigerheart believes the kits can bring new strength to ShadowClan. The tabby tom tries to tell Dovewing that they can live in his Clan together, and rid of the lying and hiding; to him, it seems to be perfect.
- His stomach tingles with apprehension, but hopes Dovewing feels the same about raising their kits in the pine forest. The thick-furred tom thinks the smoky-gray she-cat can get used to ShadowClan's ways in due time, because she'd be well cared for. They could be happy there; his thoughts tumble over and over, so fast that he barely feels his mate freeze up. Only when he touches his muzzle to hers, Tigerheart realizes Dovewing is stiff, comparing her to a stone. She stares at the ground, defeat in her blue eyes, admitting to her mate she cannot do that. The big tabby tom tries catching her eye, assuring her it'll be best for their kits. Tigerheart tells her it's best for the both of them, then thinks of how ShadowClan can benefit. The ThunderClan she-cat lifts her gaze, slowly, and fear shines in her eyes. The gray she-cat states that she's been having dreams; Tigerheart struggles to understand.
- He remembers how, after the Dark Forest was beaten, she'd lost her special powers. The big brown tom says that all cats have dreams, but Dovewing's gaze glitters. The pale she-cat declares her dreams mean something, because she can feel it. Tigerheart's dark pelt prickles, alarmed, questioning if the dreams are bad. His mate informs him she dreams of ThunderClan's nursery, and the camp is empty, and alone. To her, something feels wrong, and she states she went outside. The gray fur lifts along her spine, and she gives details of her dream. The nests are old, tattered, and everything is empty. Dovewing explains that shadows creep into the den, so she'd run, but the darkness followed.
- Tigerheart listens as the pale gray queen tells him how, even when she ran, the shadows followed. Like fire, they'd lick at the walls, growing darker and stronger, until the nursery is lost to them. When she speaks, Tigerheart feels like he can see the events described, too clear to be normal. Trying to shake his head, the images clear. He tries telling her they're just dreams, but isn't sure himself. Dovewing draws away, protesting it's not normal, mew taut with fear, exclaiming how she wakes up with dread, for she knows it's a sign. Tigerheart blinks at her, noticing how her fear is real, and tries convincing himself she's only worrying on her own.
- His mate can share her worry together, then asks if Jayfeather or Alderheart are aware. Dovewing challenges him, lashing her tail, for the medicine cats could've already guessed. She's been expecting for a moon now, and telling them of her dreams in the nursery can only confirm it. Tigerheart struggles to keep his voice bright, trying to tell her nursery dreams might be normal in the eyes of a medicine cat, prompting a hiss from Dovewing. The tabby tom begins to get exasperated, wondering why the gray she-cat believes her dreams are special, considering Alderheart or Jayfeather might've had a sign. Dovewing's blue eyes flash in frustration, and she retorts that her kits cannot be born in ThunderClan.
- The news flash excites Tigerheart, and he fluffs up his dark fur. He guesses his mate will join ShadowClan, then tells her not to mind his Clanmates, since kits mean new life. The dark brown deputy says everyone will be happy, since ShadowClan will grow in strength. Despite this, Dovewing glares at Tigerheart, refusing to join ShadowClan as well as reside in ThunderClan. The smoky she-cat admits she's thought of it, but it isn't right. Her mate forces his pelt smooth, confused by what Dovewing is saying; suddenly, she declares they must leave the Clans. This throughly stuns Tigerheart; he simply stares at her, lost for words. She insists they need to, digging her paws into the earth. Dovewing then gives a description of her dream's structures: tall Twoleg dens that reach to the sky, with one den spiked with gorse spines.
- Tigerheart's striped fur bristles, betraying his anger, and challenges her on why living in the slums of a Twolegplace is destiny for her kits. He questions how that is safe, for the Clans provide safety and protection. Dovewing narrows her blue eyes, replying that now, the Clans are nothing but a mess, due to the numbers of losses everyone has suffered. The tiger-striped warrior can barely believe the situation, asking if she really wants to run away, and have the unborn kits raised on stray life, and not the warrior code. Desperation sharps Dovewing's voice, denying it, stating she doesn't want it, but is aware of having to depart.
- She admits that if she ignores the dreams, something could happen to her and her kits. Tigerheart is pacing now, thoughts clambering over one another, fighting, growing anxious. Dovewing's meow hardens, telling the tabby she must do her duty, and leave. As he looks into her panic-striken eyes, his forepaws twitch, as though he's ready to walk wherever she does, but another weight lands on him. His hindquaters feel heavy, seemingly like they want to pin him down, forcing him to stay with his Clan forever. Due to this, Tigerheart feels he may be torn apart. Dovewing repeats his name, and the brown tom feels her breath on his cheek, thus forcing himself to look at her.
- Her mew shakes, desperately saying she needs him; Tigerheart desperately responds his Clan does too, since Rowanstar's leadership is deteriorating. Dovewing's eyes flash with rage, snapping at him to stay, since he seems to value ShadowClan more than his kin. She backs away, grief shadowing her face, ultimately declaring ThunderClan can take care of itself. Tigerheart tries once more to get the pale gray she-cat to stay, meowing to her the Clans are home enough. Dovewing holds his dark amber gaze, informing him of her plan to leave on three days, reminding him to meet her in the glade. Then, she seems to struggle speaking; Dovewing's tail bushes, and the queen looks down briefly, before coming to the result that if he doesn't show up, she'll leave without him.
- Her words finished, Tigerheart watches as his mate turns, then pushes her way through the undergrowth, leaving him. He stares after her, his heart pounding so hard it nearly drowns the birdsong; a wind gust sends mist swirling into the trees, and Tigerheart feels dizzy. Deep down, the tiger-striped tom knows Dovewing needs him, but the weight of ShadowClan nags him, and cannot decide who needs him most.
Notes and references
|Tigerheart's Shadow chapters|
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Chapter 24 • Chapter 25 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27 • Chapter 28 • Chapter 29 • Chapter 30 • Chapter 31 • Chapter 32 • Chapter 33 • Chapter 34 • Chapter 35 • Manga|
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